Viktor’s Workshop: Design Preview

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Viktor’s Workshop: Design Preview

Postby Chris » Thu May 09, 2019 1:00 pm

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Design Blog: Workshopping It

Hey Ranchers! We’ve got some exciting new spaces upcoming in 1.4.0. Most different of all is none other than Viktor’s Workshop, a space unlike any we’ve created in Slime Rancher to date.

I’m Chris Lum, game designer at Monomi Park, here to talk about how we went about creating this unique new area.


Rough Blockout
We’ve always been in the position that design has typically had more spare cycles to iterate than art, so with Viktor’s we started with a rough blockout using existing assets we previously developed for Ogden and Mochi. Using these preexisting models, I was able to kitbash a quick mockup to help inform us of the type of environment we wanted to create and allowed us to start testing standard Slime Rancher gameplay early on (Example: How many corrals can we fit? Does the space feel open enough to accommodate decorations, fully upgraded corrals, and dozens of slimes?)

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Concept
Once we had a basic layout, we started thinking more about how to fill in the space. We knew right away that Viktor’s expansion was going to be the most ‘technologically advanced-looking’ out of all the rancher areas and came up with concepts exploring what sort of devices he might have in his workshop. The earlier blockout helped us to discuss what sort of environment art would work in the space when interacting with our slimes.

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Grayboxing
As Viktor’s continued to materialize, we decided to take the prototyping phase a step further and use greybox modelling to get a more accurate representation of the area. I was able to create a low-poly mesh much closer to the size and shape of what Viktor’s actually needed to be in order to test its viability as a space for slimes and player interaction.

This type of greyboxing pass has only ever really happened one other time in the history of Slime Rancher: the other time being with the Ancient Ruins. Much like with the Ancient Ruins, greyboxing the environment early on was very informative and allowed us to quickly see how slimes interacted with the more complex playspace as well as provided a much closer visual representation of how we wanted Viktor’s to look and feel. This also had the added benefit of taking some of the pressure off of our art team so they could focus on other important work that needed to be done.

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Production Pass
Playtesting and iteration proceeded with the greybox environment for many months as we ironed out other features. However, eventually we were able to get around to building out Viktor’s “for real”, which presented many unique challenges given the difference in aesthetics, lighting, and construction from many other Slime Rancher expansions. Particularly, Viktor’s is the first fully enclosed rancher expansion we’ve done, so a lot of time was spent ironing out how slimes and their behaviors could impact the environment and vice-versa.

Finally, once we had everything else nailed down, Ian was able to do a full art pass on the Workshop to really push the visual themes and style - I think the results speak for themselves. Overall, I hope the result is a space that feels new, exciting, and full of possibilities!

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P.S.
Viktor is always coming up with new ways to optimize and make life more efficient. Gadgets like this Dash Pad should give Bea quite a boost! ;)

Expect a variety of new Slime Science gadgets, both useful and decorative in Viktor's Experimental Update!

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Viktor's Experimental Update is coming to Slime Rancher this summer!

Did you miss the Experimental Update Preview? Read the full post and learn more about the new slime and gadgets coming soon to Slime Rancher HERE!


Until next time, stay wiggly! :D
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